Dallas Coffee Shop Employs Former Foster Kids - NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth

Dallas Coffee Shop Employs Former Foster Kids

The newest coffee shop in Dallas is serving up more than just coffee. It starts with the smiles you see behind the counter.

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    NEWSLETTERS

    TMSG: New Dallas Cafe Helps Foster Youth Aging Out of System

    La La Land Kind Cafe is a new cafe in Dallas with an important purpose -- to hire and mentor foster youth who are aging out of the system. Francois Reihani is behind the new venture to give opportunities to those leaving the foster care system. (Published Monday, March 25, 2019)

    Something different is brewing inside La La Land Kind Cafe in Dallas.

    "We're a 100 percent organic cafe but our purpose is really to hire and mentor foster youth who are aging out of the system," said owner Francois Reihani.

    The coffee shop off Lower Greenville opened Monday.

    Reihani started the new venture after he volunteered with Dallas CASA and learned about the challenges facing teenagers aging out of the foster system.

    He's passionate about giving them job opportunities and skills.

    "Give them mentorship, give them love [and] show them were are here for them and care for them," said Reihani. "They are not alone in this world, because no one should be."

    He's hired 16 employees so far and hopes to cultivate a sense of community and support for those aging out of the foster system.

    Latia Thompson is excited about where this job could lead after finding herself homeless at age 18.

    "Blessed. This is my first job so I'm very thankful to be here," said Thompson.

    With every cup she makes, she said her confidence in her abilities grow.

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    Celestine Aubrey is an assistant manager and mentor.

    "I aged out of the foster care system myself," Aubrey said. "I was in from age 9 to 18."

    She understands what this job can provide and says it's so much more than brewing the perfect cup.

    "Instead of just handing [employees], a few things here and there, we're actually setting up the right foundation for them," Aubrey said. "We're building a house for them. We're building them a home. This is their home."

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